Thursday, January 14, 2010

Look down at your hoodie

I have been so swamped this week. I blame the fact that a three-week winter term only has two weekends, but my professor wants three response papers on three different days of our choosing. So one has to get written on a weeknight, every minute of which is usually taken up just by the hundred-page readings we still take home every day. Ugh.

It's lucky the material is interesting - incredibly lucky - but that alone can't keep the water below my head. Especially when responsibilities are ramping up for TAP, the admissions blog, and my journal all at the same time. So I've been on a pretty aggressive campaign of taking good care of myself: cooking favorite healthy meals, keeping caffeine intake reasonable, getting to bed early when I can, and letting Russell take over some of the household chores like cleaning the litter box and dishes.

It reminds me of something my friend Jen said around finals our first year. She caught a lot of flack from some of our fellow study group members at the time, but it made absolute sense to me. She said that when things got really crazy and she could feel herself starting to panic and not have fun, she would make a point to study in her Harvard gear so she could look down, any time she wanted, at her hoodie and remember where she was and why all the hard work was worth it.

So it's cheesy, but this Tuesday as I sat down to a particularly long and dry Low-Income Workers reading, I pulled on my own Harvard hoodie to see if Jen's trick would work. I didn't find myself physically looking down very often, but I realized my survival strategy at times like these is essentially the same: staying conscious of the exciting thing I'm doing and what a waste it would be to go through it unhappy.

I need to go grab lunch before a TAP Intake Committee meeting, but I just wanted to drop you all a line to say it was working. Thanks for your support as I've fought against the odds to strike this balance.

1 comment:

mimi said...

Excellent, excellent strategy. I am using it today.